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Search User Interfaces


  • 151 b/w illus. 12 colour illus. 8 tables
  • Page extent: 404 pages
  • Size: 253 x 215 mm
  • Weight: 0.9 kg
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 (ISBN-13: 9780521113793)

  • Also available in Adobe eBook
  • Published September 2009

In stock

$79.99 (P)

This book focuses on the human users of search engines and the tool they use to interact with them: the search user interface. The truly worldwide reach of the Web has brought with it a new realization among computer scientists and laypeople of the enormous importance of usability and user interface design. In the last ten years, much has become understood about what works in search interfaces from a usability perspective, and what does not. Researchers and practitioners have developed a wide range of innovative interface ideas, but only the most broadly acceptable make their way into major web search engines. This book summarizes these developments, presenting the state of the art of search interface design, both in academic research and in deployment in commercial systems. Many books describe the algorithms behind search engines and information retrieval systems, but the unique focus of this book is specifically on the user interface. It will be welcomed by industry professionals who design systems that use search interfaces as well as graduate students and academic researchers who investigate information systems.


1. The design of search user interfaces; 2. The evaluation of search user interfaces; 3. Models of the information seeking process; 4. Query specification; 5. Presentation of search results; 6. Query reformulation; 7. Supporting the search process; 8. Integrating navigation with search; 9. Personalization in search; 10. Information visualization for search interfaces; 11. Information visualization for text analysis; 12. Emerging trends in search interfaces.


"Many people think designing a search user interface is as simple as copying what someone else does. There are a lot of complex issues below the surface and this is the first book to explain all of the research in a way that a practitioner like me can apply it. If you want to design innovative search user interfaces, you need this book close at hand at all times."
Keith Instone, Information Architecture Lead, User Experience Design

"A comprehensive guide, not to how search works but how we humans work with search to satisfy our information needs. A must-read for anyone concerned with usability and creating the optimal user experience for searchers."
Chris Sherman, Executive Editor, Search Engine Land

"With a loud clear trumpet blast Marti Hearst announces a new scientific research domain, with emerging theories, a clear research agenda, and a compelling opportunity to influence vital technologies. Her book provides powerful insights for experts and is a vital guide for those coming into the field. It is difficult to convey my satisfaction and enthusiasm for Marti Hearst's remarkable analysis of the emerging scientific research domain of Search User Interfaces. Hearst's brilliant organization, lucid writing, and admirably comprehensive review (600+ references) are gifts to scholars, implementers, and students who want to contribute to the flourishing activity in user interfaces for information search and retrieval. Her devotion to evidence-based analysis from user and usage studies lays a compelling scientific foundation for future contributions."
Ben Shneiderman, University of Maryland

"Professor Hearst has given us the definitive work on search user interfaces; grounded in the theory and practice of information retrieval and human-computer interaction and brimming with examples and clear explanations, this landmark book will serve the needs of students, practitioners, and scholars for years ahead."
Gary Marchionini, Boshamer Professor, University of North Carolina, School of Information and Library Science

"Marti Hearst has written an impressively comprehensive and authoritative account of search interfaces, bringing together the state of the art in search sites with the large and rapidly growing body of scientific research that explains what works and why. This book will be an invaluable resource for anyone who wants to get below the surface of search --- to analyze and create search interfaces and to understand the full range of issues, problems, and new potentials for design."
Terry Winograd, Professor of Computer Science, Stanford University

"Marti Hearst’s Search User Interfaces benefits from the focus and coordination that comes more naturally in a single-authored book. [An] acknowledged expert in the field, Hearst brings a clear focus to an impressive range of topics."
Miles Efron, Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology

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